Every Tuesday and Thursday I go to my gym and play full court basketball with other guys my age. Established salt of the earth types between 30 to 50 years old. I went to the gym on Thursday and there was a new guy there. When I walked in he was doing handstand pushups and wearing his hair in a ponytail and culottes. Long shorts or short pants, not sure but the first word that came to mind was culottes. Anyway, he played well and seemed to have too much energy. When we were done, I walked out of the gym behind him and he got into a monster truck wrapped in black pattern. I noticed on the side window a skull and crossbones symbol. Under the skull, the words "Born Bold" appeared. I then realized that my judgements of him being a nerd or just outrageous and flamboyant demonstrated to me my need for him to conform and be "normal". Why is it that we do that? Why do we excoriate those that are not "normal"? Seth Godin, author of The Dip, talks of the pressure to be average. I do not want to be average. Do you realize that this pressure manifests itself in so many subtle ways. Not speaking up when I have something important to say, being embarrassed to show off a talent, dressing in a socially acceptable way (the puffy shirt comes to mind). Fear of being rejected or not receiving approval from others. I then look over at some of the weirdo top producing agents in our market place and I understand that they never succumbed to the pressure to be average. Next question is, Is it necessary to pressure our kids and loved ones to be "normal"? I really would like some input on this idea and some help identifying other subtle pressures to be average. This is a conversation that I believe is of ultimate importance.